Thursday, December 30, 2010

Challenge Time Again!!!

Let me start by saying a belated Merry Christmas to you all, as I haven't been blogging much over the last month.  I haven't been creating much over the last month apart from some Christmas cards and not wanting to post those here until at least they got into the mail (some are still waiting on a stamp - yes I am that slack with Christmas cards!!!  To get back into the swing of creativity I took some inspiration from a couple of challenges from a some of my favourite challenge sites.

This first one is a double challenge.  Firstly I took inspiration from Mojo Monday Sketch Blog - Challenge 171, it was a round or square challenge and I chose square, then couldn't locate my square punch so took some licence and did scallop squares instead!  The second challenge to inspire me was the Colour Lab Challenge #22 over at My Create Ink, although I didn't use all the blues in their challenge.  My Create Ink have the best colour matching tool, really good to use if you are stuck for which colours to put together.  I used one of the level 1 hostess sets on this card, Silhouette Sentiments, and decided to use the stamp name as inspiration to try my first attempt at silhouette stamping, I was pleased with the result as it gives just a little definition to the flowers.  The sentiment is from Well Scripted, I just love stamps that include two fonts in the sentiment!

This next one was the card I created based on the Saturday Sketch Challenge over at Stamping 411. Again this one was a blue based card but not the same colours as in the Colour Lab challenge, this one I used some of the DSP from the colour collections and tried out my new stamp out of the Heard from the Heart set that I got as part of December Frenzy.  The  cute little gift bag is from the level 1 hostess set Birthday Bakery, and I used Crystal Effects to give some gloss to the heart on the bag and on the three punch out hearts at the top.  Crystal effects really brings the underlying colour to life, and with just a sprinkle of Dazzling Diamonds glitter, adds some subtle bling to a card. 

I hope you have enjoyed looking at these two cards, and come back and visit again.  I will hopefully be posting a little more regularly now the life is returning to "normal" whatever that is lol.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

ESAD Summer Mini Blog Hop

Its time again for another Blog Hop from the lovely and talented ladies at ESAD.  What is ESAD? ESAD stands for Extra Special Australasian Demonstrators and it is an online group just for Australian and New Zealand demonstrators for Stampin’ Up!

We so love what we do and not only do we love to share it with our customers, friends, and wonderful blog visitors but we share our love for what we do with each other as Demonstrators. We run swaps, challenges, tutorials, product know how and cyberstamps and we are always there to help and support each other when its needed. So if you are a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator located in Australia or New Zealand then please feel free to click here to join our wonderful group.  If you are interested in learning about the great benefits of becoming a demonstrator yourself please contact me

You might have started with my post, or you might have hopped over from looking at the wonderful creations that Kim Conway has over on her blog KC  CARDS.  The beauty of a blog hop is that it doesn't matter where you start you just keep hopping to the next blog by following the link at the bottom or each post.  Don't forget we all love to hear what you think of our creations, so please leave a comment as you hop around.

The new Summer Mini Catalogue is full of a variety of products to tempt you, Trims, Punches, Dies, DSP and of course Stamps.  One of the benefits of being a demonstrator is we get to pre-order from the catalogue so here are some of the things I have created using these great new products.

Firstly I thought I would share a scrapbook page, I haven't done a scrapbook page in about 8 years and have been promising myself I would get back to that side of paper crafting.  I was finally inspired to do one using this picture my mum sent me last week.  Can you spot the three new products I have used?

- Firstly is the Victoria Crochet Trim, this is such a delicate woven lace trim, it has a wonderfully vintage feel about it and is just great to use, on this I have backed it with a strip of Real Red card stock to bring out the colour in the flowers and to highlight the pattern of the lace.  
- Second new product is the "Wonderful Mother" stamp from the Well Scripted stamp set.  For this page I used a marker to stamp technique to just stamp the word Mother, rather than the whole image.  I love the swirly font the stamp set uses.
- Thirdly is the Pinking Hearts Border Punch, don't you just love the delicateness of this border, the tiny hearts sit perfectly in the "v" of the border.  Like the Scallop Trim Border Punch, this one also has a matching corner punch so you can make complete borders for card fronts and scrapbook pages.

Next on the list of creations I wanted to share is a simple but effective Easter card using a great technique for making the cross using the Scallop Trim Border Punch. 

I love this because it shows the versatility of the Stampin' Up! punches.  I saw this technique on another blog and can't for the life of me find the link, so please leave a comment if this is your creation and I will give you credit (or update my post when I find the link).  I have also used the Lattice Embossing Folder from the Summer Mini on this card. Its a great folder that just give a wonderful fine texture to the card.
My final project was inspired by my Secret Sister October gift.  I wanted to recreate the decorated bag and use some of the fun little gold paper bags that I have recently acquired (I think I did an OK job of it). The base of this bag is Basic Gray with a Blushing Bride Top Note, layered with a Very Vanilla Top Note that I pre-stamped with images front the Grunge Rock stamp set and then ran through the Lattice embossing folder.  Grunge Rock is such a fun set, and it goes really well with Extreme Elements. 

I wanted this bag to be have a vintage sort of feel so have topped it off with a Victoria Crochet Trim bow, I wanted to bring out the gold in the bag so secured the bow with one of the stunning Antique Brads from the Idea Book and Catalogue - these two products go so well together! 

The guitar from the Grunge Rock stamp set I have embossed in gold onto Basic Gray.  I showed this to my 15 year old daughter (my official Blingologist) and her comment was "Oh mum, that is sooooooo cute. Can I have it?" - a good sign that I hit the mark I was aiming for.  These would make nice gift bags either full of goodies for a birthday girl, or as treat bags for guests.

I hope you have enjoyed my creations, please hop on over to see what Kerryn Campbell has to tempt you with over on her blog Kerryn's Cards.

Just in case you get lost here are a list of all the demonstrators in the blog hop, just click on their name and you will jump right to thier blog ...
** Monique Fielder **

Saturday, November 27, 2010

It's Hip to be Square

I was looking for inspiration for a friend's 40th birthday card, I often struggle with male cards, and knew when I saw this challenge from Pals Paper Art, that it was just what I needed. 

Base card is from Crumb Cake with a layer of Night of Navy, the images are from the Extreme Elements, Grung Rock and After Thoughts sets and are stamped on Very Vanilla.  Inks used were Cherry Cobbler, Early Espresso, Night of Navy, and Crumb Cake, with the sentiment embossed in gold.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

SS Inspired Part 3

Here is the final installment of my SS inspired items - all have been made from a single A4 sheet of Very Vanilla stamped with the Extreme Elements set.  This one came from a tutorial over at Papertreyink.

I love this sitting on my desk holding some of my frequently used "bling". I find if I have things close on hand I tend to use them more often.  The little bottles at the front (green and purple lids) are what hold my Shimmer Mist (Shimmer Paint added to Isocol Alcohol), I have replaced the TomBow glue with a small squeeze bottle of Crystal Effects mixed with White Shimmer Paint which I have read about but not yet used!  I wrapped some cardstock around my bone folder and adhered this to the inside of the front so that it doesn't wiggle around or fall over.  The other item in here is my newly acquired Paper Piercer which I am loving, so easy to use with its textured handle and tapered point.

I have added a bow of the Victoria Crochet Trim and secured it with one of the Vintage Brads from my SS.  I didn't want the holder to be overly decorated, so haven't added further stamps or embellishments.  I don't want to get too distracted!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

SS Inspired Part 2

As promised here is the next in my creations inspired by my SS present.  And I have a new item from the up-coming Summer Mini Catalogue - the Square Lattice Textured Impressions Embossing Folder (boy is that a mouthful!). 
For this one I have put the Soft Suede through he Embossing Folder and then run my Soft Suede Ink Pad over it to highlight the raised parts of the embossed image. I have stamped the guitar in VersaMark and then embossed with gold for a rich finish.  To split the sentiment I used the Stamp-a-ma-jig and a masking technique. 

One more in the series of SS inspired creations, so stay tuned.

Monday, November 15, 2010

SS Inspired Part 1

In my last post I got to show off some of the lovely things my Secret Sister had made for my October present, and mentioned how the colours had inspired me.  I made up a sheet of A4 Very Vanilla stamped with the Extreme Elements stamps and have used that on the project that I will post over the next few days.  I love making my own DSP, that way it matches the project I am doing perfectly both in colours and in content.  I do love the wonderful range from Stampin' Up! also and they can be easily combined with home made DSP as well, SS did it beautifully in her last gift to me! 

 Now onto the card.  On 1st December there is a new Mini Catalogue coming out and as a demonstrator we get a sneak peek and a chance to order some of the sets.  I have used one of them on this project, Grunge Rock.  Its a set of 6 stamps that include the Guitar, Sentiment and the Diamond shapes stamped on the base card.  I have also used the Music Notes wheel to go with the guitar.

 As you can see here the Diamonds have been stamped in Soft Suede onto Soft Suede cardstock, I used a stamping off technique so they were not too dark.  I stamped the sentiment onto Baja Breeze and then spritzed it with White Shimmer Paint (from my SS) mixed with isocol alcohol.  You can just make you the shimmer it gives.  I used some of the Victoria 5/8" Crochet Trim that is also featured in the new Mini Catalogue, this is a great addition to the already wonderful ribbon collection Stampin' Up! have on offer this year.  It adds to the vintage feel of the card I think.  I chose to use it like this as I wanted to frame the sentiment but didn't want to use more cardstock, and this fit perfectly.

This is a close up of the guitar, and you might just be able to see the shimmer paint I added to it to give it a nice subtle sparkel.  I love the swirls on the guitar, not easily seen on this card, but stay tuned, I will post another one soon that I have embossed with gold and you can really see the detail.  Click on the image for a bigger picture and you can see the shimmer more easily.

Great card for a teenage girl I think, I know my teen daughter loves it!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

My Lovely Secret Sister

As you might remember from a previous post I have a lovely Secret Sister from over at the ESAD website.  She has created me some truely wonderful gifts and cards over the last three months and it was a pleasure to recieve this last gift from her.  She is still hiding her identity from me but I will be sure to let you all in on the secret when I know who she is.
 This month was the final gift, and my SS made me this lovely set.  I love everything about this, the "look" which I am calling Vintage Grunge.  The colours are so great together, they match the DSP Elegant Soiree, and my SS has used some of this DSP in the gift bag and in the card.  Baja Breeze, Soft Suede, Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla and Basic Gray. 
 The bag is such a tricky little idea, its a front panel and back panel added to a white bag, done up at the top with some lovely matching ribbon.  I love the flower and suspect its from one of the Big Shot Dies, the buttons in the middle add a nice touch.  I love the layering of the DSP on the card too, I find it so hard to layer like this myself, my brain wants to line everythign up perfectly.  But I so love the look, I am going to have to challenge myself more I think!
Isn't the card cute - the Hodge Podge Hardware really goes with this Vintage Grunge look, and the little strip of DSP is a lovely touch,  great way to add a feature.  This patterned cardstock was made from the Extreme Elements stamp set and I love it to pieces,  I have previously used it with bright bold colours, but this pressie from SS has made me look at it in a new light.

A huge big thank you to my SS for all the time and effort you put into my cards and gifts, it has been really special to get such wonderful happy mail.

Keep a watch on the blog, over the next couple of days I will post up some pictures of things that I have made inspired by this lovely SS present. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Double the Challenge - Double the Fun

Today I decided to do a double challenge card!  Yep two challenges in the one card, and yes feeling quite proud of myself.  I saw the Sketch Challenge over at Friday Mashup and really liked the look of the Designer Label and the Oval punch together and knew I wanted to try that out.  Then in my browsing I found the Colour Q colour challenge, not my usual colours but I do like the earthy tones and so I gathered my colours on the desk and then decided to do the two challenges together!

I used the level 1 Hostess set "Because I Care" for the main flower, and the "Short and Sweet" for the sentiment, which just seemed to fit with the big flower.  I love the way the Short and Sweet fit so well in the punches Stampin' Up! have on offer, makes life so much easier!!!  Because the colours are all fairly heavy I decided to limit the amount of each on the card,  the scallop trim border and corner punches worked beautifully for this and the touch of Always Artichoke for the leaves and sentiment.

I also used some of the Always Artichoke to colour the crochet ribbon, I love the look of this ribbon and on this card it just seemed to fit with the more natural tones.  I hope you have enjoyed my entries into these two challenges, please come back and visit again.

Lolly Dispencer

Who doesn't like to nibble on the odd bit of chocolate while you craft!  Well I sure do, so when I saw a tutorial for this cute little number I just had to have it.  You can find it and other tutorials at

I made this out of the specialty DSP from last IB&C as I had it left over, the ribbon and button are from the new catalogue. I changed the design a little, made it bigger and made a spearate top so it would be sturdy and I could top it up easily (and frequently).

I think these would look nice on a desk - not filled with lollies but with paperclips, or similar, maybe add a post-it note pad to the top and a pen to the side.  Cute male gift.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Own Challenge

I have been doing a few challenges lately and so decided to set myself a challenge!  The challenge is to reach into my scrap cardstock box and pull out 2-3 pieces and use them on a card!  This time around I pulled out a scrap of More Mustard, Old Olive and Cajun Craze.  I paired the All A Flutter with the sentiment from Butterfly Prints, using the En Francais background stamp and some paper piercing.  I hope you like what I created.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dasher Christmas

One of the tutorials on the We Stamp For Lara website was for Christmas cards using Dasher stamp, Embossing Folder and Shimmer Paint.  I completed the easy to follow instructions and these are the creations I made.  Dasher is such a great stamp, only $14.95 and so cute! Contact me if you are interested in purchasing this stamp.

 I will be making more of these, they are quick and easy to make.  I used Shimmer Paint as a mist on the Cherry Cobbler before putting through the Big Shot.  I added some bling with the self-adhesive rhinestones. Sentiments are from the Four the Holidays, and Short and Sweet stamp sets.

On this one I went over the raised embossing with a Sponge Dauber dipped in Shimmer Paint to bring out the pattern further.  I really really really love Shimmer Paint.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

We Stamp (Cupcakes) For Lara

I have joined up the We Stamp For Lara, a great cause for a great little girl.  Please head over to Madonna Dunn's Blog for more information.

One of the challenges over there is to make a cupcake card because this month its Lara's 2nd birthday.  There was a lovely picture of Lara posted up on the website and I used her dress as the inspiration behind this card.
I hope you enjoy, and consider joining in for the month.  Each day there is a tutorial and challenges and a daily lucky door prize.  At the end of the month all participants will go into the draw for a Big Shot, yep you heard it right, a Big Shot!  All of this for only $25.  If you are interested in joining pop over to Madonna's blog for details, there are some issues with Pay Pal not releasing funds, so Madonna has made other arrangements for payment.  Its a great cause.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

ESAD Christmas Blog Hop

I hope you’re ready for another ESAD Christmas Blog Hop!

What is ESAD?
ESAD stands for Extra Special Australasian Demonstrators and it is an online group just for Australian and New Zealand demonstrators for Stampin’ Up! We so love what we do and not only do we love to share it with our customers, friends, and wonderful blog visitors but we share our love for what we do with each other as Demonstrators. We run swaps, challenges, tutorials, product know how and cyberstamps and we are always there to help and support each other when its needed.
So if you are a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator located in Australia or New Zealand then please feel free to click here to join our wonderful group.

You might be starting here or you might have come from looking at Tanya Bell's lovely creations, the beauty of a blog hop is that it doesn't matter where you start, just follow the links at the end of each post to hop to the next blog along.  All of the ladies on this blog hop have put in a lot of work so if you like what you see please leave a comment to let them know!
Now onto my creations ...  I wanted to do something a little different and that started with the card.  Having just started with Stampin' Up! this year I haven't had any Christmas stamps, so I started looking at my other stamp sets to see what could be made Christmassy and who would have thought Extreme Elements would have caught my eye! 
I used the Fleur de Lis and the Wings stamps to make the wreath and was really happy with the way it came out.  The wonderful new adhesive rhinestones gave it a nice touch of bling and the Organza ribbon tops of the wreath beautifully.

The majority of my creations are actually Christmas Decorations - so I decided to dive into the shed and pull out the Christmas Tree to show them off!  They look so lovely on the tree, I don't want to take them down, but I guess I have to as its just a smidge early for Christmas. 

 These two you might have seen before, these are made with 6-8 punch outs from the Ornament Punch.  The one on the left is punched from DSP from the Simply Scrappin' Kit alternated with Baja Breeze card stock, the one on the left is from the Jolly Holiday DSP.  These can be made with any shape punch as long as it is symmetrical.

The design for these I developed myself, I wanted something made from acetate filled with Christmas M&Ms. These little boxes are made using the Petal Card Extra-Large Double punch, the unique thing about this punch is that it not only cuts out but scores the card stock at the same time.  It goes perfectly with the Cute by the Inch set, but here I have used them to make a top and base for each tube.  A small strip of Jolly Holiday DSP has the double task of creating a delicate trim and a way to secure the top and base.  The bottom is adhered with 4 glue dots, the piece of ribbon goes through the bottom of the box, up through its middle and out the top.  To get the lollies out just slide the lid up the ribbon! 

These cone decorations are also something I designed myself, almost by accident!  They are made from the Scallop Circle Die for the Big Shot.  I thought they would make great ornaments and then when I saw the numbers stickers in the Simply Scrappin' Kit I knew they would make great advent ornaments!  Made from Jolly Holiday DSP (left) or card stock highlighted with Shimmer Paint (right), and filled with little bags of Christmas M&Ms they make a perfect Advent treat.

This little one I made following the directions by Becky Roberts as part of her 12 days of Christmas tutorial.  Hers were slightly smaller as she lives in America and has different sized chocolates!  I re-sized these to holy one of my favourites snack size bars - Snickers.  The Snickers I then wrapped in matching DSP (this one from Simply Scrappin' Kit), again these would make great Advent decorations.

I hope you have enjoyed my creations, I certainly enjoyed making them, and will be making more in the lead up to Christmas.  Now off to see some more wonderful creations, so hop on over to Julie Fette's blog and see what Christmas treats she has in store.

If you get "lost" here is a full list of the blogs involved in this hop.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Stamping 411 Saturday Sketch #172

I once again did the Stamping 411 Saturday Sketch challenge, I made some alterations to the original layout as the image I stamped didn't fit neatly with the sentiment I wanted. But I think I have kept enough to the design for it to count.
For this one I used Blushing Bride as the base and made Rich Razzleberry the secondary colour - I had them both out on the desk from doing the JAI challenge!
I haven't used the Flower Fancy stamp set in a while, but enjoyed doing the Rock and Roll technique with the flowers as well as masking to give the layered effect.  A nice simple card but very pretty, hope you enjoy.

JAI Colour Challenge 38

Well I did it again, did some more challenges this weekend.  This one is for the JAI challenge which honours the Cancer Council's national Pink Ribbon Day on 25th October. "One in every nine Australian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer by the age of 85. It could be a mother, sister, aunt, cousin, niece or friend. Whoever they are, one thing they have in common is that they will need our help and support... Pink Ribbon Day is your chance to help raise money and awareness for all Australian women affected by breast cancer."

So this week's challenge was to add Pink and Bling to a card.  I didn't struggle as much this week as last week, but pink is not normally my colour so it wasn't a walk in the park either.  I chose to use Blushing Bride, one of the new In-Colours. I like it as its a dusky pink rather than a girly girly pink!  I paired this with
Rich Razzleberry and Pear Pizazz and Old Olive.

I wanted to try something new as well so picked the small little roses I have seen on a number of cards, blissfully one had a link to Andrea's web site where she has been kind enough to include instructions.  I think they went well for a first attempt.

To add the bling I decided to apply some of my mix of Crystal Effects and Dazzling Diamonds, I think I perhaps went a bit heavy handed, but overall was happy with the way the card turned out. 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Appetiser for the Blog Hop

On the 23rd October ESAD are having another Blog Hop with a Christmas theme so today I thought I would provide a little appetiser to the main course!  I also wanted to share a wonderful new product that's available in the current Idea Book & Catalogue - Shimmer Paint.  It comes in three colours and is a great for so very many things. I have had my Platinum Shimmer Paint for only 24hours and have absolutely fallen in love with it.

Firstly let me send a thanks to Michelle Reynolds who gave me the idea for this technique of a puffy ornament. In her sample Michelle used Waffle Paper, which unfortunately in our Australian catalogue we don't have, so I had to improvise.  After looking around for options (one being silver tissue paper only to find I didn't have any) I decided to use the brown packing paper that comes in our orders.  Now I didn't want the drab brown colour to come through so decided to try colouring it with ... you guessed it Platinum Shimmer Paint!  I used a Sponge Dauber to apply the Shimmer Paint and got a nice even layer.  When it had dried,  sped along with my heat tool, I cut a piece and scrunched it up, then stuck it over a cotton ball adhering it at the edges.  Over this I placed the Concord Crush card stock with the ornament punched out of it so the silver popped through.

I stamped one of the ornaments in Delightful Decorations stamp set in Concord Crush onto Whisper White card stock and then punched it out with the matching ornament punch. I added some bling with the self adhesive rhinestones also available in the new catalogue.  I didn't want the white border around the ornament, so grabbed a small paint brush, dipped it into the Shimmer Paint and painted around the edge of the punch out!  While I was onto a good thing I decided to liven up the centre of the stamp by using the Shimmer Paint to paint in some of the detail.

Finding yet another use for the Shimmer paint I sponged around the edge of the Concord Crush card stock, and used the end of a blunt pencil to dip into the Shimmer Paint and used it to dot onto the corners of the card stock to make some faux silver brads.  The sentiment is from the Four the Holidays stamp set, which has four lovely Christmas sentiments "Peace on Earth" "Seasons Greetings" "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays" so it suits a wide range of recipients.  

One final use for the Shimmer Paint that I have used (but decided not to add to this card) is to use the sponge dauber to add the Shimmer Paint directly onto a stamp and then stamp onto coloured card stock.  It can be used to cover the whole stamp or even around the edges of an already inked up image.

Hope you got some ideas from this, if you are interested in buying Shimmer Paint for yourself, or want to book a workshop to try some of these techniques out with your friends (and earn great products) give me a call. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Stamping 411 - Saturday Sketch Challenge #171

In the spirit of challenging myself, and having done a "hard" challenge, I decided to do a sketch challenge from Stampin 411 which was a little easier as I could choose my own colour scheme. This is the sketch we had to go off ...

For my colours I chose to go with Very Vanilla and a new favourite Cherry Cobbler. Stamp set was Punch Potpourri which I absolutely love as it goes perfectly with a number of Stampin' Up! punches so you don't have to cut things out.  You can earn this stamp set really easily by hosting a workshop so contact me if you are interested in learning how.  I used the flowers stamp and lined them up with my Stamp-a-ma-jig on the three panels.

I have such a long wish list from the new Idea Book and Catalogue and still haven't bought myself any of the lovely brads, so with necessity as the mother of invention (as my own mother used to always tell me) I punched out some Cherry Cobbler with a small punch 1/8" I think, then used some Crystal Effects mixed with Dazzling Diamonds to make my own brads!

I wanted to finish off with something instead of the bow, so used the heart stamp from the same stamp set and sponged the edges in Cherry Cobbler, and finished of the card with a layered strip of Cherry Cobbler and Very Vanilla with the sentiment from the Occasional Quotes stamp set. 

I really enjoyed making this card for the challenge, and am planning on doing more challenges in the future.